Research – Proof you can Increase Open Rates by Hand Addressing Envelopes

Hand-Addressing Envelopes and Open Rates


When you hand-address envelopes for your direct mail campaign, your customers both existing and new take notice. Handwritten mail may be one of the oldest forms of communication but far from dated. Many companies are going back to basics when figuring out ways to increase their open rates, with most ditching their computerized mailers and turning to handwritten mail.

And there’s a reason for this. Keep reading to learn how handwritten mail performed in a study and why hand-addressing your envelopes to customers is what your business needs to get your mail opened and read.

Study Proves Hand-Addressing Envelopes can Increase Open Rates

The overall goal for business owners who use the help of direct mail is to get their customers eyes on what they offer and to increase open rates. Getting past the first impression is important. Within seconds of receiving your mail, you must build trust in your recipient. Trust that will encourage them to open your mail and see what’s inside. Nothing does that better than handwritten, hand addressed envelopes.

Take this study for example:

In a Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (a longitudinal study published in medical journals in 1997) different mailings were sent to non-respondents. The different mailings sent out included certified mail, United Parcel Service (UPS), window envelopes with typed return addresses, typed addresses, handwritten addresses, and window envelopes with computer-printed addresses. Results showed subjects who were sent the handwritten envelopes had significantly higher response rates compared to the recipients of the computer-printed envelopes (41.6% versus 35.9%).

What seemed to happen here is the handwritten envelope resembled traditional mail and sparked curiosity in the recipients giving them reason to open the envelope. Direct mail experts also suggest including a live stamp (as opposed to using metered stamps) on handwritten envelopes to give it an authentic look. With this mailer, recipients are more likely to open them.

Why Hand Addressing Envelopes impact Recipients

Naturally when something works, individuals want to know how and why. Increased open rates from hand-addressed envelopes is no exception. According to Go-To-Market Strategies, the high open rates from hand addressed envelopes has more to do with perception. They suggest that the reason handwritten envelopes work at increasing open rates are because they are perceived as polite, personal, and set business owners who use this form of mail a part from owners who don’t. And the personal aspect is why statistics lean more toward a handwritten style for envelopes since it looks and feels like traditional mail.

Are you looking to increase your open rates with hand addressed envelopes? Letter Friend can help. We have been helping business owners and entrepreneurs like yourself connect with customers and make positive impressions with handwritten mail.

To get started, fill out our Free Quote and we will get in touch to work with you today.

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